6 facts to know about Mexico’s first female president-elect, Claudia Sheinbaum

Mexico has made history by electing Claudia Sheinbaum as its first female president. The climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City won the election in a landslide, securing between 58.3% and 60.7% of the votes, according to preliminary results from the National Electoral Institute (INE).

Sheinbaum, 61, is the first woman to hold the office and the first Jewish person to lead a predominantly Catholic country. Her victory marks a significant milestone in Mexican politics, which has long been dominated by men.

Marco Ugarte via AP

What you should know about Claudia Sheinbaum and her forthcoming presidency

Here are some key things to note about Claudia Sheinbaum:

She has an activism background

Sheinbaum was born into an activist family and began her involvement in social causes at a young age. She is a climate scientist who earned her PhD in energy engineering at 33 and spent time at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States while preparing her thesis.

Her political career spans 24 years

Sheinbaum’s political career began in 2000 when outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appointed her to lead his environmental team. She later served as the mayor of Tlalpan and then Mexico City, where she reported a 50% decrease in the homicide rate between December 2018 and June 2023.

She has close ties to former president López Obrador

Claudia Sheinbaum and outgoing president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 2019 via RTE

Sheinbaum has been a close ally of López Obrador and has vowed to continue his policies. Despite efforts to establish her own identity during the campaign, she has been criticized for her unwavering allegiance to López Obrador, who has pledged to retire completely and not influence her government.

Sheinbaum is set to inherit significant security challenges

Mexico has witnessed over 30,000 murders annually, and Sheinbaum will face significant security challenges, including improving policing and reducing impunity. Her strategy for addressing these issues includes enhancing police operations and collaboration with prosecutors.

There is also the transfer of a budget deficit

Sheinbaum inherits a ballooning budget deficit, which is set to end 2024 at nearly 6% of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund. She has pledged to build on López Obrador’s social spending largesse, but will need to navigate the complex task of expanding welfare policies while managing the deficit.

Sheinbaum will be inaugurated into power on October 1

Sheinbaum’s presidency is expected to bring a fresh perspective to the country’s governance, focusing on addressing economic inequality and providing a sturdy social safety net.

Claudia Sheinbaum via BBC

Sheinbaum’s win is seen as a significant step forward for women in Mexican politics and a testament to the country’s growing commitment to diversity and representation. Her presidency is expected to be more disciplined and orderly than López Obrador’s, with a more technical profile among her cabinet members.


  • ChiAmaka Dike

    Chiamaka is the Features Editor at Marie Claire Nigeria. She is a woman who is passionate about God, women, and top-notch storytelling in all formats. Send all feature pitches her way - chiamaka@marieclaire.ng

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